By Liv Larsen
Lansing Township Times
LANSING TOWNSHIP — The start of the 2014 academic school year was a little different for students of the Waverly School District since the passing of the technology bond in May 2013. The technology bond passed by voters is an $18.4 million bond that will stretch out over the next 10 years.
“All schools in Michigan are struggling from lack of funding,” said Waverly School Board Treasurer Alan Wright. “[The bond] takes some of the pressure off the regular budget.”
The technology bond gives each student an electronic device, such as an iPad or tablet, and will hopefully help with the overall academic goal of raising test scores among the students.
“It’ll increase interactivity with teachers,” Wright said. “[There’s] more individual learning…more comprehension work.”
As the school district itself becomes more technology based, other standardized Michigan tests are also starting to move online.
“MEAP testing is going to be online…this year” Wright said. “Waverly is ready for that.”
Along with the goal to raise test scores is concern about a decreasing number of students enrolling in the Waverly School District.
“There’s so many issues in education,” said Brad McNeil, an elementary school teacher in the Waverly School District for the past 15 years. “Enrollment has declined.”
In order to get more students to enroll in the Waverly Schools, the goal is to get the average test scores raised and have students move to the district by school of choice.
“There’s no room for new development. The place is landlocked…other areas have room to expand and bring in new families…and [new] neighborhoods” McNeil said.
Even though the new bond has only been implemented since September 2014, board officials believe that the smooth sailing will continue into the future and possibly even lead to other opportunities in other areas of the school, such as the art program.
“So far so good with the technology bond,” says Waverly School Board President Britt Slocum. “It has gone off without any big glitches… We are [even] adding some technology in needy areas such as the theater and auditorium.”